Like many Texas spouses, you may have had an inkling for quite some time that your marriage was headed for divorce before you or your spouse actually filed paperwork. From the start, your main priority has been making sure your children’s best interests are the central focus of all child custody proceedings. As you near the time when you’ll be maintaining separate households as co-parents, you might be feeling stressed.
The last thing you need is to face confrontation every time you have to talk to your ex about a parenting issue. It’s not uncommon for spouses who divorce to have trouble getting along; it may have been a causal factor leading up to the divorce. As co-parents, however, if you don’t find a way to settle disagreements peacefully, you could be in for a lot of emotional stress and legal problems down the line.
Tips to help you co-parent without fighting
You and your ex may have different parenting styles, and that’s okay. The trick is to find a way to work together as a team to keep stress to a minimum as you cope with divorce stress to a minimum as you cope with divorce and move on in life. The tips included in the following list may be helpful:
- Be flexible. As long as you are respectful toward each other and recognize the special role each other has in your children’s lives, you can compromise and cooperate as needed to keep the peace.
- It’s best to avoid making negative comments about each other, especially in front of your children. Discuss issues rather than make insulting comments about each other’s parenting decisions.
- Forgiveness goes a long way in a co-parenting relationship. Nobody is perfect, and you’re likelier to avoid nasty temper flares if you acknowledge that each of you is bound to make mistakes from time to time, but that doesn’t make you or your ex a bad parent.
- Agree on general rules of discipline for your kids. Your household need not run exactly like your ex’s, but if your children see you as a unified parenting team, they’ll understand that you are willing to back each other up when a problem arises.
- Get as much as you can in writing. You can execute a thorough and detailed co-parenting plan, which helps avoid confusion and disputes.
Texas parents who are married have disagreements about child-related issues just like divorced parents do. In your case, you can write the terms of your child agreement so that the court can approve it, and you will have an existing court order to guide you through your co-parenting journey. If an issue arises that you don’t feel equipped to handle on your own, you can tap into local resources for support.